The Blue Jays announced that they have placed Hyun Jin Ryu on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation. Left-hander Ryan Borucki, who started the year on the IL with a hamstring strain, will swap places with Ryu and take his roster spot.
Ryu started yesterday’s game for the Jays but managed only 53 pitches with diminished velocity, an indication that something was likely amiss. No timeline has been given for Ryu’s absence, but any arm injury for a pitcher is concerning. The southpaw had just begun the third season of the four-year deal he signed to join the Blue Jays prior to the 2020 campaign. At the time, the club was coming off a few lousy seasons, but had seen the debuts of prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio, heralding the beginning of a new competitive window.
Ryu was coming off an elite 2019 season with the Dodgers that saw him throw 182 2/3 innings of 2.32 ERA ball. However, there were reasons for concern, as he’d struggled to stay on the mound over the previous four seasons. He stayed healthy in the shortened 2020 season, making 12 starts with a 2.69 ERA, helping the Jays reach the expanded postseason. Last year, he made two brief trips to the IL and managed to log 169 innings, though his ERA ticked up to 4.37 and his strikeout rate fell to 20.4%, his lowest such rate in years.
Although he may have been passed by the likes of Jose Berrios, Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah, Ryu was still pencilled as a regular member of the Jays’ rotation. With him now being shelved for an undetermined amount of time, Ross Stripling will step into his spot, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. Stripling made a spot start on Friday and threw four scoreless innings against the Athletics, throwing 62 pitches in the process.
As for Borucki, he will add a fresh arm to the team’s bullpen. After switching from starting to relieving in 2020, the lefty had an excellent showing in the 2020 campaign. He threw 16 2/3 innings with a 2.70 ERA, 28.8% strikeout rate, though a concerning 16.4% walk rate. In 2021, he got the walks down to 11.2%, but also saw his strikeout rate fall to 21.4% and ERA jump up to 4.94. The 28-year-old is out of options and will need to stick on the roster or else lose his spot. The current 28-man rosters will shrink to 26 after May 1st.